Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review. As reviewed by my 4 and 6 year old

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I took my 6 year old boy and 4 year old daughter to see the new Captain America movie this afternoon right after school.  He had been asking daily since the movie was released when I was going to take him.  My 4 year old?  I didn’t have anyone to watch her so she came along for the ride. She’s seen Captain America and The Avengers a minimum of 100 times each so she’s well founded in the story line.

The thing I love about almost all Marvel movies is that, unlike the X-Men movies, there is plenty of violence, but no graphic sex scenes that I have to try to avoid and minimal bad language.  Therefore we go see all Marvel movies.  I will include my review at the end, but here are my children’s thoughts.  I felt like they summarized all the online reviews in their own words.

Langley(6):The Winter Soldier’s arm was awesome and metal and had a tattoo. When the guy with the metal arm fights it’s awesome.  I didn’t like it when Nick Fury died. I didn’t like when he took off his eye patch. Can we go see it again?

The above statement is true.  Bucky was awesome and a convincing bad guy that you didn’t really want to see defeated, because, well he’s Bucky! Mostly during the exposition and other tense moments he was busy spilling Nerds onto the theater floor.

 

Gillian (4): I like the girl with the red hair and when she punches the mans that are bad.  I don’t like the bad Captain America cause he is bad. I want to see the movie with the girl in it. It was too long and I didn’t like it when that one man punched that other man and then he diiiiied. I wanna dress up like the girl. I PROMISE I won’t scare anyone. I love the girl.

I agree.  Black Widow got the chance to really show her stuff in this movie.  She was a strong female character that wasn’t tough because she was Captain America’s girlfriend (which she wasn’t), but because she was a strong character.  Also– seriously– where is the Black Widow stand alone movie?

Now I will post a somewhat more in depth review.  Not just kid cuteness, so feel free to stop now if seriousness isn’t your thing.

This was a solid follow up to Captain America.  Was it better than The Avengers?  No. But I will compare Avengers 2 to the original and this should only be compared to the first Captain America.  We got to see Cap still struggling with the modern era and we got a few mentions of the other heroes to remind us he is part of a group. Albeit a dysfunctional group.

The Nick Fury chase scene was great.  Rarely to I really pay attention during a blow ’em up scene, but all the explosions made sense and directly affected to chase scene.  I seriously was on edge as to whether he would survive and if you haven’t seen it I won’t spoil it for you.

I stated before that Black Widow was amazing in this and she was.  She wasn’t a supporting character as much as a co-star.  But I talked about her before so let’s continue.

Falcon was an interesting supporting character.  He was strong on his own, but not unbelievably strong.  His gear was somewhat unbelievable, but if I’m having to buy everything else in the Captain America world, a mechanical set of wings is an easy addition.  I loved his back up and will enjoy seeing him in movies to come (hopefully).

And Robert Redford is still sexy. No. Matter. What.

I won’t go into much more because I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it.

Worth seeing in 3D?  Yes.

Kid friendly? Yes, assuming you’re OK with the other Marvel movies.

Heaven Can’t Wait: In Which Castiel Pretends to be a Human and Crowley Pretends to be Evil

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A good friend of mine and I had a conversation yesterday about superheros and why our favorites were are favorites.  I stated that Spiderman and Captain America were at the top of my list whereas Superman was at the top of his.  Of course the why of mine is very deep and thoughtful.  Or at least it’s more than I really like red and blue.  I love Spiderman and Captain America because they are regular guys who just happen to have super powers.  Peter Parker IS Peter Parker and when he puts on the suit he pretends to be Spiderman.  However, Superman is Superman.  He IS an alien with crazy powers pretending to be Clark Kent.  My favorites just seem more real to me.  They spend their lives trying to live while saving people in the process. (Although I will say that Tom Welling  and Henry Cavill make me love Superman too).  I was always more interested in the bad guys in the Superman and Batman universe than I was the good guys.  They were too perfect.  Too inhuman.

Well after having such an in depth conversation on superheros (as normal people do) right before watching this episode made me notice a few things more acutely about this episode.  Cas is spending his days pretending to be Steve the Human (kinda like Finn the Human but with less emotions).  He’s trying to fit in.  He’s trying to date people that aren’t trying to kill him.  He feels like he needs to cut all supernatural ties.  Of course Dean being a total douche and kicking him out of the bunker probably isn’t helping at all.  He’s not though.  He’s not human.  He’s an angel and needs to stop pretending.  He was never perfection like Superman, but he was a very powerful good force and even though he’s human now he still can be a powerful force for good. He began to stop pretending there at the end when he tried to banish the other angel before he could hurt that baby and before he could hurt him.  Then, there at the end, he seemed to embrace what he is when he stabbed hot pink angel in the chest.  Will he be able to carve out a life as a human?  Who are we kidding, they’ll find a way to fix this or he’ll die.  One or the other.  Personally I hope for the former.

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I could feel Cas’ confusion at Dean’s presence throughout the episode.  I thought this still captured that.

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I forget at times how handsome Misha Collins is.  Also Nora totally played Cas and knew what she was doing. I disapprove.

Now I’m not blaming him for pretending, I’m just saying that Castiel will never be able to pull of human as long as he remembers his angel past.  He’s continually confused by human behavior.  His discussion with the baby just reinforced the fact that even as a fallen angel he relied on his powers to get him through all situations.  The thing I believe that he’s not pretending about is being hurt by Dean.  His offer to help Dean and Sam find a fix for all of this was one last cry for help and Dean shut him down.  Again.  Dean and Sam are idiots though.  Castiel can probably read that language that they just made deals with Crowley to read.  Why didn’t they just ask Cas?  Or at least as him to verify?  Crowley lies.  He at least definitely doesn’t tell the whole truth.

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Poor Kevin, as much as I love Crowley I know Kevin must be so upset that he hasn’t been killed yet.

Now Crowley.  He’s pretending too.  Big evil King of Hell who can now feel emotions.  I think he came to the realization that he is not the evil SOB that he thinks he is after he tried calling Abaddon. Don’t get me wrong.  He USED to be evil.  He USED to be that guy, but now, now he was almost cured and has been held captive for a while now.  He now feels his power stripped away.  His kingdom is being brought down by Abaddon, there is no end in sight of getting away from the Winchesters, and Kevin definitely wants to kill him.  I’m curious to see what happens from here.  Will he continue to pretend to be evil or will be gradually come to terms with his impending goodness?  What was up with injecting Kevin’s blood at the end?  Will that do something to Kevin or is he trying to receive some more humanity?

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What??

Crowley and Castiel were the biggest pretenders in this episode, but really there is pretending going on all over the place.  Sam is hunter with an angel inside him pretending to not be there, Dean is a brother pretending to be on the up and up and a friend pretending to not want Castiel around, Kevin is a hunter pretending that he could become the advanced placement student that he used to be.

Favorite lines in the episode:

Dean: My dates usually end when I run out of singles.

Crowley to Kevin: What’s wrong Short Round?  Afraid of needles?

 

I feel the build up to something big.  I have said before that I think Sam will find out in the next episode, but we shall see. (I don’t like the boys fighting so I hope I’m wrong).

Become A Star For A Day

DragonCon is over.  Another year of costuming, staying up too late, getting up too early, exposing my son to something that is somehow both awesome and inappropriate at the same time, and what is most amazing: feeling like a star.

I had someone ask me why do this.  Not just why I go (even though I think that they had doubts about that as well), but why I spent so much time and money on making costumes for this event.  At the time I didn’t really know the answer.  After seeing the amazing creations last year I thought that I had the ability  to create something amazing so I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  That may have been my reason for starting, but I know my reason (and I think other’s reason) to continue.  It was amazing to have people stop me in the halls and ask for my photo.  It’s what I would imagine being famous feels like, except at the end of the day I got to shower and turn into myself again.

OK so Steampunk Supernatural went over well.  I had more people “get” it than I thought I would (I think a whopping 10 people that didn’t have to ask who we were– which was about 8 more than I expected) and had a lot of compliments just on the general awesomeness of it.  I got recognized by someone who reads my Tumblr which made my day and then I also got to do a CNN photo shoot about rule 63.

However, it wasn’t until I was dressed as Snow White that I began to feel the awesomeness.  No explanation was needed here.  In a sea of Ariels, Auroras, Tinkerbells and Cinderellas it was easy to stand out of the crowd.  It took me twice as long to get anywhere, I got called the wrong princess’ name numerous times, but I loved every second.  While on the Walk of Fame I even had “Once Upon a Time” star Raphael Sbarge ask ME for a picture!  Yeah that was pretty awesome.

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When I walked by small children I could hear there excited whispers and I watched them gather the courage to talk to me.  It truly was magical.  To them I was  Snow White just like for my son every Spider-Man or Captain America we passed was, in his eyes, THE superhero.   It’s an amazing feeling and I can see why people go to numerous cons a year and spend thousands on costumes.  Do I think it’s as competitive as “Hero’s of Cosplay” portrays it– no, not for the average congoer, but it’s crazy the things people can construct. create and imagine that makes cosplay special.

So if you still don’t understand why I recommend you hit up the nearest con (a larger one to guarantee that you’ll get to see some awesome costumes) and do some people watching.  Maybe you’ll get it then.

Check out some of the highlights of my weekend:

Rainbow Dash Dress Tutorial!

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So at DragonCon last year I got my daughter some Rainbow Dash ears and wings from this lady so of course she needs a dress to go with them right? I kept thinking about how I should do this and decided on a tutu dress, but since it’s Rainbow Dash it needed to be huge and fabulous!

Here is how I did it:

Supplies:

5 yards of Rainbow Dash blue tulle (aka baby blue) OK I used tulle on this but I highly recommend using netting or chiffon because tulle wads up when your walking (running, rolling around, jumping etc).  I am going to redo this skirt before she wears it again.  All steps will be the same though. 

1 yard each of the other colors

1 package of elastic

1/2 yard baby blue fabric (I used a stretchy knit that was on clearance)

Fleece or Felt to make cutie mark (I used felt, but I think fleece would have worked better)

Step one:

I measured around her chest and then added an inch (I have $40 in ears and wings and $30 in fabric so I want this to last as long as possible).  Cut and surge the elastic together. (Hand or regular machine stitches work as well)

Step two:

Measure how long the skirt needs to be then double it and add an inch (hint: fold fabric in half and it helps with cutting OR buy the tulle in spool form and you don’t have to cut near as much.  You will use A LOT more than 5 yards that way though, just because it’s measured differently).  Cut fabric into 3 inch wide strips or if you purchased by the spool, just cut it to the length needed.

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Obviously they don’t have to look perfect.  Any uneven lines will not be noticed at all.

Step three:

Tie the tulle in knots around the elastic like so:

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Yes that is a Captain America Shield– I use what I have.  It does make it easier to have the elastic around something.  If you don’t have a Captain America Shield a lamp shade or bucket would work.  However if you don’t have a Captain America Shield you just lost some cool points. (You can buy one here.)

Tie the baby blue tulle around the part that will be the front of the skirt.  I used 4 strips of tulle together for each knot to make it very full.  You could do less if desired, but I wouldn’t recommend doing much more.

Step four:

Do the same for the rest of the colors.  Tie like a maniac.  I recommend watching TV while preforming this mindless task.  I rewatched some Supernatural episodes while doing this and the two hours flew by!  Well at least they went by easier than otherwise.

The final product should look something like this:

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We took this moment to try on the “RAINBOW DASH TUTU!!!” My daughter was very excited.

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Now on to the top of the dress:

Step six:

Like I said I bought some baby blue fabric on clearance.  I folded it in half and used my serger to make a blue tube-like top:

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Here is where I fail as a someone writing a tutorial.  I totally just eyeballed this.  I made it the same size as the elastic, and make it longer than I thought I’d need it just to be safe.  Then I serged it all together.  DONE!  Easy right?  OK it really is, so I’m going to assume you followed all that and am moving on.

Step seven:

Cutie Mark time!! I Googled images of her cutie mark and then drew the mark piece by piece on the felt.

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Then I used fabric glue to secure onto another piece of felt.  HOWEVER!!! I do not recommend using fabric glue, or at lease use a lot less than I did.  You’ll find out why in a minute.

I cut out the mark again, leaving a little around the edges then used a button hole stitch in baby blue around the cloud and onto the detail on the cloud.  I also stitched around the lightening bolts in thread that matched each bolt.  Once this is done cut as close to the mark as you can so the back piece of felt is not seen.

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This is why I am against the use of glue.  It seeped through and made the stitches look dark.  It’s not noticeable in the final product, but I wasn’t happy with it here.  However not so unhappy that I was going to go to the fabric store again to make a third attempt (oh I didn’t mention the one I made way too big?? Oh well, moving on.)

Step eight:

Sew the cutie mark on the top.  Make sure you try the skirt and the top together first so you don’t sew the mark too high or too low.

Step nine:

Straps– Ok I was going to do four straps that would be tied in bows on the shoulders, but at the last minute changed my mind.  Instead I made a halter which I pulled down in the back to make a semi racer back top.  I like this because as she gets bigger I can untack the back part and make it just a halter top.  Also with the wings it was going to be too much around her face.

If you make the straps yourself remember that you have to cut them a lot wider than you would think.  Whenever you turn something, it shrinks a lot.

My straps.  One preturn and one post.  I also serged one end before turning, but since I made it a halter I really didn’t need to do that.

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Then I sewed the strap into the top, only sewing down one layer so the stitches wouldn’t show through. (I did this by hand, the fabric I chose does not do well on a regular machine and the serge stitch would have been too much).

I put the top on her and then sewed the back part of the strap down while it was on her to make sure that I sewed it up high enough.

Here is the back finished:

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If you are lazy you can just use ribbon for this step.

Step nine:

Try the top and bottom on together and mark where it needs to meet.  I made the back higher than the front to make a big fluffy rear end.  Also my skirt had more volume in the back. She enjoyed the try on steps.

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Step ten:

Whip-stitch the skirt to the top. This is another good chance to catch up on your favorite TV show.

You are DONE!

Here is the finished product with ears and wings:

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